July 14, 2024 1:24 PM
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In Memoriam: Liese Peterson

by Kerstan Szczepanski


On December 30th, 2023, the tradeshow and live events community lost a great leader when Liese Peterson, CEO of von Hagen North America, passed away.

Peterson worked at companies such as Nine Elms ED LLC, and Czarnowski, before starting as a Senior Vice President in November of 2012. Peterson spent over 11 years with von Hagen. Proficient in German and Italian, and capable in Russian, her multilingual expertise helped to create cross-cultural, trans-Atlantic business connections throughout her career. 

Peterson was a leader beyond boundaries known for her kindness and loved by business associates and friends alike. Never to say no to any personal or professional challenge, she inspired and challenged others to grow as well. Whether in business, her local community, her church, it did not matter, Peterson helped. 

Peterson was a graduate of Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. She was also known as a talented classically trained pianist. But it is for her smile, her laugh, and her spirit that those who knew her remember her most.

Fellow Exhibit City News Columnist Chris Kappes has this to say, “Legacy is what others say about you. I met Liese at Contempo Design where we both led sales and marketing teams. A big personality…Liese was quick on her feet and smart as a whip. Able to speak multiple languages, she was articulate in speech and written word. She was worldly, a fun travel companion, and warmed every room she walked into. I like to think that she’s not gone but on another global trip.”

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